Sunday, May 25, 2014

Clearing the ground - 1

All things being equal and my computer behaving reasonably well, not, at present, a given, I intend to stay up tonight and keep the blog going as the Euro-results come in. Unlike many people who ought to know better and like the majority of this country's population I do not think who sits in the Toy Parliament is of any great importance. But we did have this election and we might as well look at the results. This is, after all, the last time for five years that anyone is going to care about the whole charade, unless there is some kind of a scandal that will be a nine days' wonder.

But first, here are the final local results, in case you missed them. No analysis, as I am not sure what conclusions can be drawn though I shall try to find out what the turn-out was in various places and how the popular vote panned out.

In England, as expected, Labour came top though not by as much as they would have liked, this being a local election a year away from the General. 82 councils of the ones who had elections are now controlled by Labour (including my own, Hammersmith and Fulham, which is very depressing) and of the seats up for grabs, they grabbed 2,101. The Conservatives retained control of 41 councils and have managed to win 1,359 seats. So you see what I mean when I say this was not the sort of overwhelming victory Labour would have liked. The Lib-Dims did not collapse (nor will they, I suspect, in the Euros) and they still control 6 councils, having lost control of 2 and have 427 seats. They lost quite a few but are a long way from the complete implosion predicted for them. It gives me no pleasure to have to say this but it is true.

UKIP, as we have been told by all and sundry, have done well though (and this we have not been told) not quite as well as they had hoped, staying well behind the Lib-Dims. No councils passed into their control, unlike last time with Lincoln, but they do have 163 councillors as well as those elected last time round who are still  in UKIP.

There 68 independent councillors, 53 Residents Association ones and only 36 Green. I have seen one prediction that places the Greens ahead of the Lib-Dims in every region of the Euros but I find that hard to credit. The real Liberal party retained 2 seats and the BNP 1, as did Independent Community Health Concern and Respect, I am delighted to say, lost the one seat they had, all of which reminds us that local elections are often decided on local issues and have little relevance to national politics, which is as it should be. 31 councils, 7 more than last time, now have no overall control, which is also a good thing, in my opinion.

Let us not forget that there were local elections in Northern Ireland as well and the results are helpfully published on the BBC website, though I must admit to a complete lack of understanding of the system. The DUP came top with Sinn Fein second, which is more or less what one expected but someone else has to analyse the results in any detail.

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